Sitharaman mentioned in her Budget speech that the national transporter would monetise the dedicated freight corridors (DFCs) after its commissioning.
Railway Budget 2021: On Monday, FM Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Railway Budget, now merged with Union Budget for the financial year 2021-22. The Finance Minister announced a record sum of Rs 1.10 lakh crore for Indian Railways, out of which an amount of Rs 1.07 lakh crore is for capital expenditure. Sitharaman mentioned in her Budget speech that the national transporter would monetise the dedicated freight corridors (DFCs) after its commissioning. While presenting the Union Budget 2021 in the parliament, the FM also applauded the services provided by Indian Railways to transport essential supplies across the country during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
According to the Finance Minister, a National Rail Plan has been prepared by Indian Railways for India 2030. The National Rail Plan has been prepared to create a railway system that is future ready, by the year 2030 bringing down the logistic cost for industry is at the core of the strategy to enable the Modi government’s ‘Make In India’ initiative. In her Union Budget 2021 speech, the FM said that it is being expected that the eastern dedicated freight corridor (EDFC)and western dedicated freight corridor (WDFC) would be commissioned by June 2022.
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The minister said the 263 km Sonenagar-Gomoh section on EDFC will be taken up this year itself in PPP mode. The 274.3 km Gomoh-Dankuni freight corridor section will also be taken up shortly in short succession, she said. The national transporter would take up the future DFC projects- East-West freight corridor from Bhusawal to Kharagpur to Dankuni, East Coast freight corridor from Kharagpur to Vijaywada as well as North-South freight corridor from Itarsi to Vijaywada. In the first phase, detailed project report would be undertaken.
The Finance Minister said electrification of broad gauge route was expected to reach 46,000 Rkm, which is 72% by 2021-end from 41,548 km from 1 October 2020, further adding that 100% electrification of such routes would be completed by December 2023. She also mentioned that for better travel experience to passengers, Indian Railways would introduce the aesthetically-designed vistadome LHB train coaches on tourist routes.